Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lee Is Looking to the Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lee Is Looking to the Future

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

There's no hiding place in racing. You're only as good as your last winner, whether you are at the top of the profession or a journeyman jockey.

Graham Lee will never forget his three Cheltenham Festival winners in March, nor his Grand National triumph on Amberleigh House the previous year, but he is well aware that living in the past doesn't guarantee anything for the future.

"That's all done and dusted. Cheltenham will not be forgotten, but I am now looking forward to the next big one and that's Grey Abbey and Inglis Drever at Wetherby," says the likeable Irishman, who has made the North-East his home.

Despite all the significant successes that have come his way since teaming up with Howard Johnson and owners Graham and Andrea Wylie, he admits he is still on a learning curve. He's often taken advice from champion jockey and friend Tony McCoy. "He's been a great help, just talking to him. You see, you never stop learning in this game. I think I'm a far better rider than I was three or four years ago but I still have some way to go."

Many of his admirers reckon he is close to being the finished article and that riding good horses on a regular basis, particularly in the last year or so, has only highlighted his natural talents as a horseman. The arrival on the jumping scene of an ambitious Graham Wylie has been the icing on the cake for Lee. He is a reliable pilot, makes fewer mistakes than most jockeys, and his dedication and determination to better himself has stood him in good stead.

Grey Abbey, who doesn't fly the Wylie banner, embarks on yet another campaign in today's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase and Lee is looking forward to resuming his successful partnership with the dashing grey. He is his biggest fan.

"When he won the Scottish National two years ago, it was some performance, but he has got better and better, even at the age of 11, and you just wouldn't know what's around the corner. …

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